Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

10 Ellul 5761 - August 29, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Observations: Hate Songs in America
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

As Jews we must have an interest in worldwide hatred, because we are so often its recipients. Whatever its address, we can never be sure that it will not be sent to us next. The following words, edited somewhat for our readers, are taken from one of the regular columnists of the New York Times, Bob Herbert, and highlight a phenomenon of growing concern.

The hatemongers have gone global, aided by the Internet and the unmistakable drawing power of white power music. The music is mostly an amateurish mix, with "vocalists" screaming and screeching like in a song called "Third Reich," recorded by the Canadian band Rahowa (which is short for Racial Holy War) in which the singers call for killing "blacks, Jews, gypsies and Commies."

White power music is a growing phenomenon. Hammerfest 2000 didn't get a lot of news coverage, but it was the most successful white power concert in the U.S. last year. It was held in October and drew racist skinheads galore to the town of Bremen, Ga., which has a population of 4,500 and is about 50 miles west of Atlanta.

Local officials are still embarrassed and reluctant to talk about the event.

The two-day concert was a raging success for hard-core fans of Hitler and lynching and the developing ideology of "pan- Aryanism." A group called the Bully Boys drove the Nazi- saluting crowd into a frenzy with a song called "Six Million More." And all other references to the extermination of Jews and deviants and the mass killing of blacks were warmly received.

The Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks the activities of hate groups, reported that "Hammerfest 2000 drew fans from Austria, Canada, France, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain, as well as from across the United States. The concert culminated months of worldwide networking by sponsors Panzerfaust Records and Resistance Records, the premier neo-Nazi music labels in the U.S."

Call it the commodification of hate. In the new world order, everybody's an entrepreneur. It's just that some products are more egregious than others.

The music helps the hatemongers in a number of ways. Proceeds from concerts, compact discs and related items help finance the operations of major neo-Nazi and racist revolutionary groups. And in conjunction with the Internet and the cheap air fares that have eased international travel, the music has helped link racist groups throughout Europe and the Americas.

"The music has also been terribly, terribly important in bringing young kids into this movement," said Mark Potok, who edits Intelligence Report, a magazine published by the Intelligence Project.

More than anything else, he said, the music is luring the new recruits.

"I've talked to many people who have come out of this movement," Mr. Potok said. "To a man and to a woman, they say it was the music, more than any other influence, that brought them to the movement in the first place."

Impressionable youngsters in Jackson, Miss., in Oldham, England (where race riots erupted in May), or in Krakow, Poland, can listen to the same racist music -- songs about barbecuing Turks or hunting blacks or torturing Jews.

The world is already ablaze with ethnic and religious hatred. So hate music, which deliberately encourages the violent tendencies of its practitioners and its fans, is fuel for an already raging fire.

In the United States this music is protected by the same Constitution that allows me to speak freely in this column. So this is not a call for censorship. What is important is that people of good will be made aware of a phenomenon so corrosive to a free society. It shouldn't be allowed to flourish in the dark. You don't want to censor this garbage. But you do want to throw a spotlight on it.


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